2022 Gristmill Grinder

2023 Gristmill Grinder Registration is Closed! 

Race date is April 22, 2023 - Opening weekend for the Park

 Click HERE to Register!


2022babcock molly

2022 Gristmill Grinder was AMAZING!

 Race Day - Cool temps in the early morning, a little breeze and a slew of happy trail runners filing into the park for the 18th running of the Gristmill Grinder! I was smiling the whole way driving to the park, I imagine a lot of other folks were too. Jenny with ACE was already there ready to set up, Terry was there, The Baker family was there. Lots of hands make easy the work and the truck was unloaded in no time flat. My partner in events Tom Wagner showed up smiling at the weather and headed out with the Aid Station setups and the sidewalk chalk. Runners followed that sidewalk chalk all day on the road sections in the park!

As we got close to our 10am start time folks began to slowly file to the arch. Trail runners are like that. A quick prerace meeting showed some hands of 1st time Babcock round AND 1st time trail runners. That's always cool to me, what a place to try out your trial running legs! 

This year we had a returning crosscountry team from the Knoxville Tennessee area. The overall male winner last year was part of that group - Colton Lee. This year Colton was back along with his brother and 5 more members of the team - plus the coach! They were all super nice at packet pickup, I had a photo made with them which I love and they even gave me a card. Wow. Not sure I'm worthy of all of that but it happened and I have the proof. 

The race started on time in what was primo weather conditions. The course was in fantastic condition, clear of major wood and fairly dry. Immediately after the half-marathon starts we line up our 5K Fun Run & Walkers. It's noty a timed event though we do have the big cloce to use and I could see people starting their watches. It's such a great course for friends and family of folks doing the half and some parents just let their kids do it on their own. Safe environment and the 5K goes to the Gristmill Aid Station and back all on the road. Remember it for next year for your friends and family. Meanwhile, out in the woods, the trail runners were moving along their personal journey through one of the most beautiful parks in the state. It's incredible, ask anyone that has done it. Some folks stop and take pictures at overlooks and try to soak some of it in. Some do not, like Colton Lee. Colton was 1st Overall Male again with an incredible time of 1:32:30! Just over 10 minutes behind him was brother Kyler Lee with a time of 1:46:11. Leading the Women's field were two ladies that have both won the race multiple times. The Overall winner this day was Kristin Eddy from Virginia with a time of 1:48:45. Hot on her heels was Audrey Larrimer from Ohio with a time of 1:52:56. Congratulations to all of you - those are really impressive times. 


It is a race, so I feel obligated to post the winners and their times of course. But really, everyone that was there was a winner. When you put on your shoes and walked to the starting line - you were a winner. If you did a training block, you had won before you ever got there. Setting your goals and talking the steps toward them - that's what it is all about. Maybe your race didn't go as planned, that happens and it's okay. But appreciate your journey there, your training runs, the people you met at the race, the incredible place that you ran. You are all winners in my book. And what about the volunteers? People that met me there at 7:15 to help set up. Aid station workers laughing and yelling and ringing them dang cowbells. Little kids helping hand out water at Aid Stations just makes my whole world better, how about you? What a wonderful community we have here in the NRG area as well as in the trail running tribe. Thank you all for your support and inspiration over the years and the miles. Keep the Spirit - see you on the Trail ~


For Race Results go HERE 

Photo Link is coming!